Light Painting Techniques
Light Painting Photography is the Art Form of using handheld lights to paint and/or draw in a scene while the shutter of a camera is left open during a long exposure photograph. By shooting in a dark location and using photographic technique of LONG exposure photography (let's say a 30 second exposure) the flashes, streaks, colors, textures, and trails of light created by our Light Painting Brushes light tools and modifiers can be captured in your photograph without the use of any post production. Exposure times for light paintings can range from just a few seconds up to an hour or more.
There are 3 basic Light Painting Photography Techniques: The On Camera Light Source, The Off Camera Light Source and Kinetic Light Painting Photography (See descriptions for each below) There are no rules! These techniques can be modified, combined, or ignored and you can create your own!
The On Camera Light Source: This is creating a light painting where the element illuminated by the light source can be seen by the camera. With this technique the light painting artist stands in front of the camera during a long exposure photograph and uses an illuminated light source to create color and design within the frame. Examples of using this technique are Light Writing, Light Drawing, Light Graffiti, and Light Painting Photo Booths. Some of the Light Painting Brushes light modifiers used for this technique are the Bottle Light Painting Brushes, Plexiglass Light Painting Brushes, and Fiber Optic Light Painting Brushes. Here is one example:
(Above Image by: Jason D. Page)
The Off Camera Light Source: This is creating a light painting where the element illuminated by the light source can NOT be seen by the camera. With this technique the light painting artist either stands behind the camera during a long exposure photograph and projects light into the scene to create color and design within the frame or using the Light Painting Brushes Hood and Color Filter Set the artist can enter the scene and selectively illuminate parts of the image without the light source being seen by the camera. Using the Light Painting Brushes Hood and Color Filter Set vibrant colors can be created within the scene. Here is one example:
Kinetic Light Painting Photography: Kinetic Light Painting is where the light source stays stationary and the camera is moved to create color or design within the frame. A example of a Kinetic Light Painting would be holding a camera in your hands, opening the shutter for a long exposure and using the light from a full moon to create a moonlight drawing. Another Excellent example would be using a Camera Rotation Tool to spin the camera in a 360º motion during the exposure using stationary city lights to create the image below.
To learn even more about Light Painting Photography including, Artist Profiles, History, Tutorials, and Tips check out the website LightPaintingPhotography.com